May 16, 2007
Pressure Mounts for Clinton, Obama, Feingold, Biden, Reid to Resign From Senate
Today's humiliating vote on the bill by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI, 100%) to set a hard date for American withdrawal from Iraq -- the bill needed 60 votes to break the Republican filibuster; it got 29 votes, a scant 31 votes short -- puts more pressure on the 28 Democrats who voted for it, including all Democratic presidential candidates still in the Senate, to resign from that august body in disgrace.
The proposal lost 29-67 on a procedural vote, falling 31 votes short of the necessary votes to advance. Of the 67 senators who opposed Feingold's proposal, there were 19 Democrats, 47 Republicans and Connecticut Independent Joseph Lieberman. Of the 29 supporting, 28 were Democrats and Vermont Independent Bernard Sanders.
(Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, 100%, is undisgraceable, so is excused from the calls for mass resignation.)
Everyone knew that the bill wouldn't be able to clear the 60-vote hurdle; but Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%) was stunned by how little support he actually had within his own Democratic conference: The bill passed among Democrats by only 60% - 40%. In contrast, Republicans were solidly united against it; not even Sens. John Warner (R-VA, 64%), Olympia Snowe (R-ME, 36%), Susan Collins (R-ME, 48%), Charles Grassley (R-, 88%), or Chuck Hagel (R-, 75%) voted in favor. Sources within the Senate who do not wish to be identified say this signals an impossible task for the pro-surrender wing of Congress.
In a clear sign of a dangerous divorce from reality, Majority Leader Reid announced that a 60-40 split is an example of party unity:
"We stand united.... in our belief that troops are enmeshed in an intractable civil war," said Reid, D-Nev.
A number of independent observers have long raised concerns about Sen. Reid's mental stablity. This worry adds to many others in a rising tide of anti-Reid sentiment that threatens to force his resignation from the Senate, from politics, and perhaps from the world, were he to retire to a life of religious study and monkdom.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%), who once harbored dreams of being elected president (or at least nominated), joined a number of other rats swimming towards the sinking ship:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential front-runner, previously opposed setting a deadline on the war. But she said she agreed to back the measure "because we, as a united party, must work together with clarity of purpose and mission to begin bringing our troops home and end this war."
As it became clear that Democrats are only united in their disunity, she found herself twisting slowly, slowly in the wind -- which, to be fair, is generally her preferred residence; she's not called "the weathercock of the Senate" for nothing. As pressure mounts for her to end her presidential run and leave public life, she may eventually find such a course more palatable than the increasingly untenable alternative.
Presidential formerly hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL, 95%) cast his lonely vote for the bill in order to send a message:
Sen. Barack Obama, another leading 2008 prospect, said he would prefer a plan that offers more flexibility but wanted "to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the president and my Republican colleagues that it's long past time to change course."
Instead of a message, he should have sent a sausage: It would have been more easily consumed. But he is right; it is time for Obama and his fellow Democratic candidates and the Democratic majority in Congress to "change course" -- perhaps to supporting American victory, rather than agitating for American defeat.
Even perennial defeatist Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI, 100%), a veteran of such campaigns against victory, appears to have scented the shift in the prevailing winds; he voted against the Feingold bill, ironically remarking:
'We don't want to send the message to the troops' that Congress does not support them, said Levin, D-Mich. 'We're going to support those troops.'
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE, 100%), proudly and enthusiastically supported the failed effort on the Senate floor; however, this blog was unable to find a single source, even anonymous, who cared. Many believe that Biden intends his current presidential campaign to be a "swan song" to his overly long political career.
As the ripples spread from the crushing Democratic defeat, Sen. Warner's own surrender bill -- setting benchmarks with troop-withdrawals attached -- also failed. Sen. Levin, seeing the handwriting on the wall and reluctant to join the Democratic exodus out the door, withdrew his demand for defeat without allowing it to come to a vote.
Seeing nothing but "miserable failure" on all his anti-victory bills, Majority Leader Reid has evidently given up; he is now likely to admit the Democrats cannot pass any of the troop-abandonment bills that relentlessly burble up from the chamber on the other side of the Capitol Dome:
The Senate must take the next step by passing its own measure. Given the political forces at work, that legislation will be a placeholder, its only purpose to trigger three-way negotiations involving the House, Senate and Bush administration on a final compromise.
As a result, officials said Tuesday that Reid and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell had discussed jointly advancing a bill so barebones that it would contain no funds and do little more than express congressional support for the troops.
This non-bill bill, intended to be written entirely in the joint conference, has led to the suggestion from a number of voices that the majority leader should change his nickname (for however long he can withstand calls for him to step down) from Harry "Pinky" Reid to Harry "Fill In the Blank" Reid.
Even the majority leader himself appears to recognize the drubbing his party just took:
Negotiations on the final compromise are expected to take days.
Wednesday's votes on Feingold and other proposals "will provide strong guidance to our conferees and help shape the conference negotiations we have ahead of us," said Reid.
Let us hope so.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 16, 2007, at the time of 2:00 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Marvin
Damn good 'unbiased' coverage of today's inaction in the Senate.
The above hissed in response by: Marvin at May 16, 2007 2:43 PM
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
Wow Dafydd, you are in fine form today. I particularly liked the line about Sen. Sanders and the word undisgraceable, but the line about Sen Clinton being the weathercock for the Senate is almost as good. As usual Sen Obama is not yet ready for prime time. Were it not for the seriousness of the situation, the antics of the Senate would be the best entertainment available. They have long passed governing and are now into slapstick, but they do need to improve their act in order to be truly funny. The only reason I laugh at them is because it keeps me from crying over what they have brought about.
The following hissed in response by: F. N. Owl
It will take several days to negotiate a blank bill?
What will thye argue about, the shape of the paper?
The following hissed in response by: Pam
Good Job! Any overs or unders as to when our heros will get the money. I say a Bill is ready by next Thursday.
The following hissed in response by: hunter
Brilliant take on this.
If the Republicans are finally getting the wind in their backs, the dhimmies are sunk. More importantly, the war may yet be won and this nation triumphant.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
What will they argue about, the shape of the paper?
My dear fellow, you suffer from a paucity of imagination. They can argue about:
- The length of the paper (letter, legal, etc.);
- The thickness -- how many mils;
- The finish -- rough, creamy, parchment?
- The color -- nowadays, probably a hundred different choices or more;
- The shape of the paper -- all right, I'll give you that one;
- The order in which they sign the blank paper;
- Signature size; cf. the Declaration of Independence and John Hancock's coup de convention;
- Who gets to actually deliver it to the joint conference;
- What flowery phrases are uttered during the presentation ceremony; cf. "The great and sovereign state of Vermont, home of maple syrup, land of technicolor forests, original home of the Algonquian round table, home of the famous Green Mountain Boys, who single-handedly won the Revolutionary War, and producers of much greater cheese than those louts in Wisconsin, proudly and emphatically casts all three of its electoral votes for the unparalleled statesman and Hero of the People, Buck Turgidson!"
- Senatorial pay raises for the hard-working Democrats who crafted that blank piece of paper in the first place;
- And of course, which members will sit on the investigatory committee to determine why Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Mafia Don Karl Rove haven't yet implemented that blank piece of paper.
Never underestimate the power of positive pomposity.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at May 16, 2007 5:14 PM
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Any overs or unders as to when our heros will get the money. I say a Bill is ready by next Thursday.
Oh no, they'll kick the gong around a while longer and will make at least two more half-witted attempts -- I'm sorry, I misspoke: I meant to say half-hearted attempts to mandate defeat. Only then will enough Democrats join nearly all the Republicans to pass a funding bill that includes benchmarks that are advisory only.
(The first one they'll pass before that, I think -- probably early next week -- will be benchmarks pegged to troop withdrawals, but giving Bush the option to overrule withdrawal by certifying that the Iraqis are trying really, really hard. Bush will confound the Democrats and RINOs by casting yet another veto instead.)
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at May 16, 2007 5:27 PM
The following hissed in response by: yonason
". . . were he [Dinghy Harry] to retire to a life of religious study and monkdom." -- Dafydd
Do they even have monks? (I am restraining myself (so much it almost hurts) from saying the obvious. I hope you appreciate that).
So why does he let the MSM get away with slandering Romney for his Mormonship? Reid is a sleeze, and not because he's a Mormon, either. Of course, that does leave me at a loss to explain the pride some of them seem to take in him. Probably just a local phenomenon?
btw, that article talks about how close he came to dropping out of college, about which he is quoted as saying "I'm sorry to admit now I would have quit," Reid said. "I think I was looking for a way out."
Looks like he never stopped, and now he's found a way to have others do his quitting for him. What a guy!
The following hissed in response by: brutepcm
This is all a pleasant delusion. Remember it fondly when the People's State of Aztlan surrenders to the Taliban.
After Iran bombs us back to the stone age.
(Subtle clues that I have lost all confidence in the electoral process, the Presidential candidates, and the current Congress.)
The following hissed in response by: habu
A tour de force in poitical writing. It put a nice smile on my face. Bravo
The following hissed in response by: Pam
Dafydd, you're kidding me, right! UGH! So, we're talking June and the not yet Surge, Surge is beginning at the end of this month.
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